“Te Ata,” based on the inspirational true story of Chickasaw storyteller Mary Thompson Fisher, is among the elite films selected for competition at the Bentonville (Arkansas) Film Festival.

The first public screening of “Te Ata” will be 1:30 p.m., May 4 at BFF, a week long film festival which champions women and diverse voices in media. Produced by the Chickasaw Nation, the feature film shines a light on the remarkable life of the Chickasaw storyteller best known by her stage name, Te Ata, which means “bearer of the morning.”

Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby said that Te Ata was a great ambassador for Chickasaw people and all Native Americans.

“Te Ata brought the beauty and wisdom of Native American culture to the world in a way that helped develop greater appreciation for core values such as basic human kindness and respect for the natural world,” said Gov. Anoatubby. “We became involved in filmmaking because we believe it is important to tell our own story. We made this film to share the legacy of a remarkable Chickasaw woman with audiences around the world.”

Based on her remarkable life and legacy, “Te Ata” shares her story of breaking cultural barriers and changing public perception during a storied career which spanned from the 1920s through the 1980s. Directed by Nathan Frankowski and produced by Paul Sirmons, several award-winning Native American actors help bring the story based on Te Ata’s life to the silver screen.

Q'orianka Kilcher is Te Ata and Gil Birmingham is cast as Te Ata’s father, Thomas Benjamin (T.B.) Thompson.


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